One of the biggest concerns that companies have with outsourcing to China is the relationship between sampling, production and quality. A great sample does not necessarily mean great production quality. If you really want to ensure you are getting what you expected – and paid for – then it is absolutely imperative to seek quality control and inspection services from a company located on-the-ground in China that has the knowledge and experience to produce results.
How to Get Quality Products From China
Let’s back up a minute. Quality control in China really starts by defining your requirements prior to the start of production, as this will be the standard all inspections will be compared against. You should provide the company with a “perfect sample,” but you should also give the pertinent details for each material you used to create that sample. For every piece of information you don’t provide, a purchaser or technician from the factory will have to make a choice. Does that person understand the intended use of your product?
Don’t forget safety standards, too. If you’re employing the services of a China sourcing company like our team at Trans-Pacific Facilitators, their professionals should be able to assist you in ensuring product safety approvals such as UL, ETL, CE and TUV are met.
The best way to set up your outsourcing for the best quality control procedures is to write everything down relating to your requirements in very precise terms, leaving no room for interpretation. Then, have your sourcing company translate the document into Chinese; this way, your meaning will not be misconstrued.
Despite your best efforts, requirements are not always respected and bulk production rarely turns out as nice as the samples. This is where quality control and inspection services come into play.
What are the different types of quality control procedures?
Pre-Production Inspection (PPI): During a PPI, inspectors check that all raw materials are acceptable and evaluate operational procedures prior to production to ensure conformance to the client’s specifications and schedule.
- This service is generally offered at the manufacturer’s premises
- It will take place before your production has started
- Raw materials, components, accessories and semi-produced parts used to start mass-production will be checked
Care at this stage avoids unnecessary reengineering delays and costs down the line. It also helps avoid surprises once production starts, which would only delay production, increase costs and hinder relationships.
In-Line Production Inspection: When approximately 10-15 percent of the client’s products are finished, inspectors check production progress and quality. During this time, they check against specifications, evaluating the quality and production status and forecasting the timeliness of delivery.
- This inspection ensures the quality of products is maintained throughout the production phase
- It further pinpoints problems that need earlier correction before completion of the whole project
An In-Line Production Inspection identifies deviations from the requested standards and allows time for a corrective action plan – if necessary – to ensure a uniform batch of high-quality product is achieved.
Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI): The most requested inspection service, the PSI checks product against purchase order specifications and inspects function, quantity, appearance, safety, packaging and shipping mark to ensure the client’s products are ready to ship when the manufacture is complete.
- A Pre-Shipment Inspection is generally completed when at least 80 percent of the goods are completed, packed and ready for shipment
- A random sampling of goods is chosen to ensure validity
- Inspections are performed using specific criteria based on the product’s style, function, specifications and other requirements
An inspection at this stage of the game ensures that you will receive what you paid for and that all products are accounted for. Because inspections are based off of your requirements and the sample you provided, special care should be taken to ensure these items reflect the quality of workmanship you expect for the final product.
Not All China Quality Control Companies in China are the Same
The goal of any full-service China sourcing company that offers quality control and inspection services should be not to work for you, but to work with you. Whether you’re looking to ship hundreds of containers per month or just a few per year, you need someone who can keep you informed, listens to your goals and has the knowledge and experience to get you exactly what you’re paying for. Specifically, you want to have your quality control procedures implemented by a company that has an infrastructure in place in China to facilitate a thorough and complete investigation. Your business – and your reputation – depends on it.
Do you have a product you’d like to manufacture in China? Are you curious about the many ways that our team at Trans-Pacific Facilitators can help you see results from your decision to outsource? Contact our team of professionals today to learn more and to begin experiencing the many benefits to manufacturing in China. Connect today!